Disrupting aviation: An exploratory study of the opportunities and risks of tablet computers in commercial flight operations
Matthew Boyne, Pepperdine University, United States
Pepperdine University . Awarded
Commercial flight operational safety has dramatically improved in the last 30 years because of enhanced crew coordination, communication, leadership and team development. Technology insertion into cockpit operations, however, has been shown to create crew distractions, resulting in flight safety risks, limited use given policy limitations and difficulty in establishing standard operating procedures. With the recent introduction of tablet computers into the flight cockpit as a substitute for paper-based manuals and navigation charts, the risk of human error may be increased. Though portable electronics, known as electronic flight bags, have been present of the flight deck for a decade, introduction of tablet computers as their replacements offers unique challenges, given the ability to communicate and share information outside established aviation channels. This research explored the opportunities that this technology insertion offers to commercial aviation in areas such as knowledge sharing and operational performance improvement. The results indicate that the opportunities were not realized with the initial implementation because the pilots did not accept the technology due to inadequate training coupled with restrictive policies concerning use.
Boyne, M. Disrupting aviation: An exploratory study of the opportunities and risks of tablet computers in commercial flight operations. Ph.D. thesis, Pepperdine University.
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